08 May 2012

I kinda wonder if she figured it out yet.

UPDATE: Nope, she still hasn't figured it out yet. And so it continues.  Look for her on conservative media gab shows soon...

Maybe she's still mad about this
Sometimes writers are intentionally provocative to get more attention.  It's particularly common in the online world because controversy begets page views which beget ad revenue.  Of course, sometimes, people get a little carried away with it.

From Naomi Schaefer Riley, newly-former contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education's Brainstorm Blog on April 30: 
You’ll have to forgive the lateness but I just got around to reading The Chronicle’s recent piece on the young guns of black studies. If ever there were a case for eliminating the discipline, the sidebar explaining some of the dissertations being offered by the best and the brightest of black-studies graduate students has made it. What a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap. The best that can be said of these topics is that they’re so irrelevant no one will ever look at them.
Yeah, go read the post.  It's helpful to read the article she links to. It would be most helpful to read the dissertations themselves - but hey, it's not like Riley did.  Oh, and I really can't let this one go, from the same post:
Seriously, folks, there are legitimate debates about the problems that plague the black community from high incarceration rates to low graduation rates to high out-of-wedlock birth rates. But it’s clear that they’re not happening in black-studies departments.
Which, as you can imagine, leads to stuff like this and this and this.

I think experts on race can more than adequately handle the statements the writer makes on race - I'll simply suggest it's important to read something before dismissing it - and its entire field - as irrelevant.

But then there's this, from Naomi Schaefer Riley, newly-former contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education's Brainstorm Blog, on May 3:
...since this is a blog about academia and not journalism, I’ll forgive the commenters for not understanding that it is not my job to read entire dissertations before I write a 500-word piece about them. I read some academic publications (as they relate to other research I do), but there are not enough hours in the day or money in the world to get me to read a dissertation on historical black midwifery.
Yeah, so then there's this, from the editors at CHE:
Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog.
Not all that surprising.  But then there's this interview of Riley by Craig Silverman at Poynter, and apparently she's still confused about why this was such a big deal.
“It’s a new standard for a 500-word blog post if you have to read the dissertations in order to comment on their topics,” she said. “That seems to me a little absurd.”
Riley also said that “the immaturity and childishness of the reaction [by commenters on the website] is all the more surprising” given The Chronicle’s well-educated readership. “This to me was kind of a not particularly big news flash of a blog post so I think the vitriolic reaction is kind of surprising,” she said.
Maybe Riley has a point - after all, what's the big deal?  All she did was use her perch at the Chronicle of Higher Education to dismiss an entire field of academic study because it doesn't focus on the notion that black people are ignorant, slutty criminals. Why would anyone care about that?

Jay Rosen is hosting a decent case study discussion regarding this on his Facebook page.  It goes beyond the very basic issues I highlighted here.  I wonder if Riley will read it - or if she's too busy.

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